What the gossip mags say

Last updated 12:08 10/09/2012
Keisha Castle-Hughes
FINALLY CONTENT: Actress Keisha Castle-Hughes

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Two of New Zealand's most prominent actresses have revealed secret battles they've had to face, including drug and alcohol issues, illness and how fame tore their family apart.

Keisha Castle-Hughes and Rena Owen shared their secrets with Woman's Weekly, explaining the difficulties they've triumphed to get to where they are today.

Newly-engaged Castle-Hughes says she's finally content. She has a new man in her life, acting jobs on the go, and is starting to patch things up with her family, which she says was torn apart after she soared to fame following her appearance in Whale Rider.

"No one anticipated the success it would have, so my mum and I were thrown in the deep end and we learnt the hard way," the 22-year-old told the women's magazine.

Raised in a family-of-seven in one of the country's poorest suburbs, Glen Innes, the family was turned upside down when the then 13-year-old appeared in the hit film, earning herself an Oscar nomination.

Castle-Hughes and her mum would be flown first-class to Los Angeles, put up in five-star hotels and given $25,000 dresses to wear - yet they'd only be able to afford to buy hot dogs for dinner with the $4 they had to their name.

"There were times we were stranded on the other side of the world in complete luxury, too proud to admit that we didn't have enough money to get home. It was a bizarre life - no wonder my family resented me so much."

She was the family's breadwinner by age 14, the same age she started drinking, smoking and developed an eating disorder.

"All that money did was tear our family apart - we didn't speak for years."

But the Aucklander's life is taking a turn. She's planning a wedding to musician Jonathan Morrison and is also planning to set up a public relations agency for young actors. "I think I'm trying to replicate what I needed myself - a support system."

Rena Owen, of Once Were Warriors and Shortland Street fame, also reveals some secrets in the pages of this week's Woman's Weekly.

The actress has come forward to tell people she had Hepatitis C, but is now cured after having taken part in a medical trial in 2010.

The drug she took during the trial was the first drug developed to combat Hep C in more than 20 years.

"This is about me going public on what has been an incredibly private thing," the actress says.

"One of the reasons it's not talked about is because there's a stigma attached to it."

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Owen says she doesn't know when she got it or how, but suspects she may have picked up the blood-transfused disease in one of three ways - while training as a nurse in the early 80s, when getting pierced or tattooed or through intravenous drugs.

Not a big drinker, Owen admits she took to drugs, and heroin in particular, instead to help "quieten things down".

Another Kiwi actor to make the gossip magazines this week is the father of the Outrageous Fortune clan, Grant Bowler, aka Wolf, who is featured in New Idea alongside Lindsay Lohan.

Bowler is appearing opposite the notorious actress in the TV series Liz & Dick, about the life of Elizabeth Taylor.

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise haven't managed to escape the gossip magazine's attentions, with Holmes rumoured to have been outraged about revelations she was auditioned to be Cruise's bride. She thought there may be some truth to it, but didn't know to what extent, a source told the magazine.

Pippa Middleton also graces the pages, as rumours are heating up that the princess's sister is planning on moving to the Big Apple.

New Idea reported that the socialite's parents summoned her to a meeting and ordered her to keep low profile after she was snapped laughing while her companion, lawyer Romain Rabillard was caught on camera pointing a gun at paparazzi.

Ada Nicodemou, who plays Leah on Home and Away, introduces the world to her new son in New Idea, while Jersey Shore star Snooki, aka Nicole Polizzi, shows off her newborn son Lorenzo in Woman's Day.

Also showing off her new man, Jaime Ridge is caught enjoying a romantic walk with part-time model and NZ Post marketing executive Alesana Pereira.

- Stuff

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